chalk-full of community support and handmade touches, tara and ben’s wedding at the old timers’ cabin is about as personal as they come! we absolutely love the bridal party’s non-matching attire, with all sorts of themed details to tie their outfits together. although we’ve seen the old timers’ cabin decked out in all manners of decor, this wedding’s cozy feel with felt heart garlands, a loose-leaf tea bar, and community-sourced potluck dinner seems especially fitting for the quaint cabin in the river valley. tara was happy to share some of her and ben’s story with yegwed, including some great advice for keeping wedding planning simple. enjoy!
how did you meet?
‘my best friend was living in a community house church with ben and we met a couple of times when i came to visit her from out of town – i later found out that he used to stare at my photo on their fridge and say how stunning my eyes were. i finally moved up to edmonton, and one day ben actually talked to me, rather than staring at my photo, and as they say, the rest is history.’
what was the proposal like?
‘i wrecked the proposal! we had gone out for a movie with friends, and stopped by another gathering before heading over to his place before it all went down. we were cuddling and his heart was racing. i said, ‘whats wrong – are you going to ask me to marry you or something?’ and he said sheepishly, ‘well… yeah.’ i completely freaked out and headed to the washroom, and then when i came back, he asked me. the ring i had picked out looked horrible in real life so he took me ring shopping the next day. he felt stupid because he didn’t have a ring, but i am so glad he didn’t because what we chose together suits me so perfectly and is exactly what he would’ve picked if i hadn’t given him prompting.’
was there anything you were worried wouldn’t work, but turned out awesome?
‘my father was hit by a drunk driver while on his motorcycle two weeks before the wedding. it was devastating – it still is as he struggles to recover. i was ready to throw in the towel at that point because, truth be told, the only reason we did not elope was so that my father could walk me down the aisle. my friends and church family rallied around benjamin and i and carried us through those last two weeks. since my father was giving us money for the wedding and those costs needed to go to medical bills last minute, our plans had to change. our friends came over almost every day and helped craft, make lasagnas and encourage me. our church gave us over 700 dollars to cover the last minute costs. benjamin made 200 buttons with my fathers pic on them and one was given to everyone at the wedding so i would feel his presence there. we live-streamed the wedding for out-of-town guests and my dad to watch. (he was too heavily medicated to actually watch in the end, but his neighbours came over and set it all up for him to watch anyways.)
i asked our dear friend joe to walk me down the aisle and he was thrilled. he has never had much to be excited about in life and he took his job very seriously and very graciously. although he couldn’t fill my dads shoes, making a difference in his life that day made it all better.
i’m sad that my dad wasn’t there, but i rejoice because he is alive and now, as we’re nearing the end of my pregnancy he’ll get to meet and love on his grandson who will bear his name. it was a horrible event, but i learned that both ben and i are very loved by those around us.’
tell us about the planning process!
‘I had the whole thing planned one week after getting engaged. I had been a part of many weddings and helped plan many events as a youth pastor so i knew what i wanted. luckily, benjamin felt the same way and had even better ideas than i did to make the day so “us”. in fact, the day after we were engaged i booked the venue, since we were wanting a short engagement. i knew we wanted casual and i knew we both loved antiques and olden times so the Old Timers Cabin was a great find.
we had a pre-planned potluck and asked certain people to bring dishes in lieu of presents. the decorations were all DIY and for the three and a half months we were engaged, i crafted with my friends to get them all done.
valentines day supplies at Dollarama was the best surprise gift in the planning process, since i was able to find a ton of love-themed things for the kids packs and wedding decor.
what was the best moment of the day?
‘there were so many, as it was really more like a family reunion! but if i had to pick just one, i would choose our thank you speech. as we ran through our ‘thank you’s we asked everyone who had been apart of making the wedding possible to stand up. more than 70 percent of the people in attendance stood. it was an awesome moment and a further testimony of Gods faithfulness in our lives.’
got any advice for someone planning an edmonton wedding?
‘be prepared that perfection is not attainable and in the end the imperfections are usually the most beautiful parts.
choose your “i’m willing to die for this” aspects of your wedding, be it good photography, good food etc. and don’t stress about the rest.
allow people to help you, but communicate well and in advance about what you want. even if you feel like you are talking to people like they’re children, they will appreciate the maps and layouts of how you want the tables.
stay off pinterest!!! use your imagination, and go there as a last resort. there are enough burlap and lace weddings out there – be original.
my husband truly had the best ideas. as a bride, ask your groom for his opinion – you will be very surprised to find that he too has been planning this for a while.’
vendor shoutouts – what vendors made your day awesome?
Old Timers’ Cabin: the staff at the Old Timers Cabin were so wonderful. i was very sad that it ended up snowing the weekend of our wedding so we did not get to experience the full beauty of the patio and view of the river valley. most of all, i love their desire to stay true to the beauty and history of the cabin and that they ask you to not cover things up. it spoke volumes of their integrity.
Alysha Creighton Art: she helped make our invites super personal and fun.
Tamara Boyes and band: my sister-in-law is an incredibly talented singer and she blessed us with her vocal talents during our ceremony. it was perfection!
Leah Bargen Photography: when it came to picking our photographer it was a no brainer. leah is an artist first and then photographer. she takes ‘real’ photos and doesn’t spend hours upon hours editing them to make us look better than we actually look. she was super patient and kind through the whole process and did our wedding with her 2 1/2 month old baby. we are so pleased with how our photos turned out. she really understood what we wanted and delivered in ways we didn’t even think possible.
Divine Hair Creations: courtney larson from divine spa colored and cut my hair and extensions to match perfectly. if you are looking for someone who cares about perfection, and giving you what you want, shes the lady!
thanks so much tara & ben for sharing your special day with us! have an awesome yeg wedding you’d like to see featured? get in touch! we’d love to hear from you.